PRO BONO HONOREES

The City Bar Justice Center salutes the following individuals who were honored at our annual Epstein Awards event in October 2019. The awards ceremony is named for Jeremy G. Epstein (1946-2009), a Shearman & Sterling LLP partner and board member at the City Bar Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society, and the Fund for Modern Courts. Mr. Epstein logged over 5,000 hours of pro bono and public service over 20 years.

Veterans Assistance Project: Jeremy Barr and Telisa Gunter, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US and White & Case

The City Bar Justice Center’s Veterans Assistance Project, or “VAP,” provides disabled, low-income veterans in New York City with pro bono legal assistance on issues related to their claims for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Many VAP clients are served by attorney teams, and this year we honor Jeremy Barr of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Telisa Gunter of White & Case, who, when colleagues together at Freshfields, led co-worker teams on VAP cases.  On one case, they labored for nine years on behalf of an Army Veteran who had served at both Ground Zero and Iraq and had his first VA disability compensation application denied after separating from the army in 2009.  In 2018, Jeremy and Telisa successfully obtained VA benefits for their client, who went from receiving no help or support from VA, to now receiving $855 every month, free VA health care, and over $12,000 in retroactive benefits.  We also salute Jeremy’s work as a mentor on VA disability cases, and help managing Freshfields’ VAP participation.  Both tasks bring Jeremy more administrative burden, but facilitate his colleagues’ participation in VAP, leveraging the expertise the Justice Center can provide VAP clients.